new wave feminism

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A quasi-academic look at Feminism, politics & race relations through the lens of a 20-something year old Nigerian American who was born & raised up in the (still) segregated south but has relocated to the "liberal" yet historic & traditional north.
This blog is my space for an interdisciplinary examination of race, gender, class, sexuality - all things intersectional & multi-dimensional.
Feminism the way I see it...

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Posts tagged "women of color"

Vintage advertising always puts in perspective the place the country was a few short decades ago…







In reference to the conversation that was taking place earlier about WOC and sex.  I feel like this picture embodies a lot of that conversation for me.  How black women are supposed to be sexually knowing and “schooling” the white boy.  

I always think this shit is really ironic considering that the people in charge of black female sexuality throughout history have not been black women themselves, but white men. What is this foolishness about the lasciviousness of black women? You know who’s lewd and hypersexual? Not black women, but the people who raped them and continue to rape them without any form of reprimand for their actions (hey, DSK!).

Also, what’s wrong with sexuality? Even if black women were particularly concerned with eroticism (post coming sometime about the repression of healthy sexuality in the Black community…), what is wrong with that? Why is it wrong for women to possess agency with regard to their own sexual organs?

Anyone got an answer? My ask box is open. 

It’s times like this when I wish this Tumblr link weren’t in the hands of people I know IRL. I have a story that’s so applicable to this concept and I’d love to share it, but those of you who actually know me really do not need to read about my (effectively nonexistent) sex life online.

i shall be waitin on that post, love!!!

This picture…ugh. I remember one of the first white guys I dated as an adult going on & on about the great sex he’d had with WOC & how much they taught him. I think he’s probably still wondering why he never got any from me. At the time I was icked out that he spent our second or third date rhapsodizing about sex with other women, but looking back I assume on some level I knew I was just another experience for him & not a real person.

(via abagond)

We respect the stellar performances of the African American actresses in this film. Indeed, this statement is in no way a criticism of their talent. It is, however, an attempt to provide context for this popular rendition of black life in the Jim Crow South. In the end, The Help is not a story about the millions of hardworking and dignified black women who labored in white homes to support their families and communities. Rather, it is the coming-of-age story of a white protagonist, who uses myths about the lives of black women to make sense of her own. The Association of Black Women Historians finds it unacceptable for either this book or this film to strip black women’s lives of historical accuracy for the sake of entertainment.

The Association of Black Women Historians in “an open letter to fans of The Help

well said. the rest of the statement is worth the read

Though there are interviews in Gloria about how upper-middle-class, straight feminists came to embrace lesbian rights and economic justice for poor women, there is no explicit discussion of an equally enduring and arguably more fraught issue: the relationship between feminism and struggles for racial equality. The film does feature archival footage showing 1970s white feminists arguing that men’s only bars are the equivalent of Jim Crow lunch counters. Doesn’t that contention cry out for debate, for analysis—for something? We see Steinem appear alongside her 1970s “speaking partners,” the black feminists Flo Kennedy (pictured above–Ed.) and Dorothy Pitman Hughes, but we don’t hear much about how these women (who were so often overshadowed by the more famous Steinem) navigated their dual identies as women of color within the feminist movement.

Steinem notes that her own brand of feminism was more radical than that of her elders, women like Betty Friedan, who were concerned mostly with the plight of white, college-educated housewives. Yet there are no interviews with either Steinem or other movement veterans that reflect explicitly on the relationship between feminism and civil rights. We hear about how Steinem’s sexy good looks helped propel her to prominence, but not about how her whiteness helped make feminism seem less threatening. We also learn nothing about the sophisticated set of critiques women-of-color, such as Angela Davis and bell hooks, have long made regarding mainstream feminism: that its focus on abortion detracted from their own struggle for maternal rights and that the assumption that women represent a united interest group often downplayed the struggles of non-white women in overcoming racism.

There have been thousands of words written about Stockett’s skills, her portrayal of the black women versus the white women, her right to tell this story at all. I won’t rehash those arguments, except to say that I found the novel fast-paced but highly problematic. Even more troubling, though, is how the structure of narratives like The Help underscores the failure of pop culture to acknowledge a central truth: Within the civil rights movement, white people were the help.

The architects, visionaries, prime movers, and most of the on-the-ground laborers of the civil rights movement were African-American. Many white Americans stood beside them, and some even died beside them, but it was not their fight — and more important, it was not their idea.

This isn’t the first time the civil rights movement has been framed this way fictionally, especially on film. Most Hollywood civil rights movies feature white characters in central, sometimes nearly solo, roles. My favorite (not!) is Alan Parker’s Mississippi Burning, which gives us two white FBI agents as heroes of the movement. FBI agents! Given that J. Edgar Hoover did everything short of shoot Martin Luther King Jr. himself in order to damage or discredit the movement, that goes from troubling to appalling.

Why is it ever thus? Suffice it to say that these stories are more likely to get the green light and to have more popular appeal (and often acclaim) if they have white characters up front. That’s a shame. The continued impulse to reduce the black women and men of the civil rights movement to bit players in the most extraordinary step toward justice that this nation has ever known is infuriating, to say the least. Minny and Aibileen are heroines, but they didn’t need Skeeter to guide them to the light. They fought their way out of the darkness on their own — and they brought the nation with them.

–Martha Southgate, The Truth about the Civil Rights Era

In regards to how Hollywood, and “The Help” screwed up history.

Just so we can have a running count, how many empowering & autonomous images of women of color actually DO make it through hollywood? (serious question)

I’ll wait

I am a lesbian woman of Color whose children eat regularly because I work in a university. If their full belies make me fail to recognize my commonality with a woman of Color whose children do not eat because she cannot find work, or who has no children because her insides are rotted from home abortions and sterilization; if I fail to recognize
the lesbian who chooses not to have children, the woman who remains closeted because her homophobic community is her only life support, the woman who chooses silence instead of another death, the woman who is terrified lest my anger trigger the explosion of hers; if I fail to recognize them as other faces of myself, then I am contributing not only to each of their oppressions but also to my own, and the anger which stands between us then must be used for clarity and mutual empowerment, not for evasion by guilt or further separation. I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own. And I am not free as long as one person of Color remains chained. Nor is any one of you
Audre Lorde
Black women have always been these vixens, these animalistic erotic women. Why can’t we just be the sexy American girl next door?
Tyra Banks (via beautyinblackness)

Joshua Bennett - Ten Things I Want To Say To A Black Woman


there is hope as California celebrated the election of Attorney General Kamala Harris in 2010. Like President Obama, Harris stems from a bi-racial background, born of an Indian mother and Jamaican American father. Harris is the first female, African-American, and Asian-American elected to be Attorney General in California; she is the first Indian-American to be Attorney General in the United States. While Harris claims the various facets of her racial heritage, black women have embraced her as representative of our power and potential. A member of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, graduate of Howard University, and young at 46, Harris has a great shot at pursuing a career in the Senate, House of Representatives, or higher levels of California’s state government, which hopefully will lead her to compete for candidacy within the Democratic Party for the U.S. presidential nomination.

Years ago, Shirley Chisholm said of her campaign to run for president, “I am not the candidate of black America, although I am black and proud. I am not the candidate of the women’s movement of this country, although I am a woman and I am equally proud of that. I am the candidate of the people, and my presence before you now symbolizes a new era in American political history.”

This article is interesting actually for the comments at the end. The readers were quick to say “this will most definitely NOT happen” suggesting that sexism is still far too pervasive of an issue to get past in politics for women, especially WOC, to get past to get elected.


Some comments

To answer the question. No. You will never see it in your lifetime and probably not even your children’s lifetime. Heck I don’t even think we’ll see another black man as president in our lifetimes because everyone will hold Obama responsible for the mistakes of W. Besides, we have too many white men in congress who don’t want to side with a black man so you know they’ll never side with a black woman.

Could you imagine the e-mails that would be floating around if there were a black woman president? Since we’ve had to deal with the e-mails of pictures of watermelons on the White House lawn and pictures of Obama’s face imposed on a monkey, I’m sure the e-mails that would be sent out with a black woman president would probably be her image superimposed on a booty shaking half dressed chick dancing to some rap song since that’s the only image most white men in power have of us.

While I do agree with some of the comments above, I also think that the only way we will see a Black woman in the Presidency is if she is a conservative. It often seems that the only women that many men can “respect,”are those that they perceive as working against their (women) own interests.

Research Shirley Chisholm’s run for the presidency. Be prepared to be shocked how her so-called “brothers” treated her. Read about the sexism/prejudice she caught from the likes of Julian Bond and Jesse Jackson. Read about the sexist comments made about her appearance from black comedians. Shirley Chisholm caught more grief from black men than she did from white America.



'Can I touch it?' The fascination with natural, black* hair

By Lisa Respers France, CNN
From the article:

"She missed by mere seconds, she was actually going to grab my hair as I walked past her," recalled Winfrey Harris who runs the blogWhat Tami Said. “I turned around and she said, ‘Oh, your hair is neat.’ It just floored me because who does that, just reaches out and touches strangers?”
 It’s a common tale shared by women of color whose natural hair can attract stares, curiosity, comments and the occasional stranger who desires to reach out and touch.
 The reaction to such fondling can range from amusement to outrage over the invasion of personal space.
 The discussion surrounding it is often rooted in race relations.
 Blogger Los Angelista explained her response to a woman’s incredulous “Are you serious, I can’t touch your hair?” by writing that no she couldn’t, “Because my black ancestors may have been your ancestors’ property, and had to smile while they got touched in ways they didn’t want to, but I am not YOUR property and never will be so you’d best move your hand away from me.”
Actress Issa Rae, star/creator of the web series "The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl," said she has been natural all of her life. She had cut her hair and worked the short afro into the character, who was heartbroken and starting over.
Rae has endured the comments of “Eww, why is your hair like that? Why are you trying to go back to slavery?” from other African-Americans and says that, growing up, she had requests to touch her hair from both blacks and whites.
The touching doesn’t bother her as much as “when they ask stupid questions to make me feel like my hair is alien hair.”

*article originally stated “African American” hair. However, not everyone with “black hair” is “african american” or even directly from Africa - but from a wide range of countries from not just Africa and America, but the Caribbean and latin American regions as well. That is all.


Meet Cheekie, Georgia, Kyla & Ray - all a part of the  I Love My Hair print collection. Each print comes in an 11” x 14” digital print on 80 lbs Newsprint White French Paper. Each print is signed and dated and comes with a sticker featuring another one of her proud natural friends.

The emergence of art and movements like this are fantastic, and adorable ways to promote acceptance and pride among young black girls - for far too long there has been a shortage of positive and empowering images for young girls to look up to. We already see the damage caused when young black youth internalize the lack of black representation in child-centered dolls and media. Now is the time to make wave for true representation.

If I ever have a daughter, her nursery is going to be filled with positive images of black femininity & empowerment. The cycle needs to stop, and this up and coming generations need to be taught early to love themselves and their natural, non-chemically processed or bleached- beauty.


Gorgeous! & I love the earrings!

Its always great to see the beauty in natural features.

I ran across this today and thought it was phenomenal and empowering =)

From Addicted To Etsy:

I spent much too many years in my teens and early 20’s obsessing over my complexion, my weight, my nose, my hair and everything in between. It didn’t matter how many times my mom told me I was beautiful, it really never registered. I wish it didn’t take all this time for me to accept that this is who I am.

Something amazing happens when you really start to love and embrace yourself. The moment I stopped trying to experiment with lightening creams because an aunt told me I needed to, or hiding from sun for fear of getting darker, or getting a perm every other week, for fear of the tiniest appearance of kinky hair, that became the moment, I started to love my reflection. And I tell you, if you love what you see, other people start to see that as well.  I kid you not, I only started wearing shorts and skirts about 2-3 years ago. I can laugh at it now- how sad. Four years of college and I didn’t wear short skirts because of what someone may have said about their shape, size or the mosquito bites or the I’m too clumsy so I bang and scratch my legs everywhere scars.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m still a woman with good and bad days and I know there’ll be moments where I sit there feeling bad that I’m not some stranger or some person out there’s ill conceived idea of perfection; but now I’m in a place where I can quickly realize that it’s all really silly though.  I realize I can honestly work to improve myself, eat healthy, take care of my skin without feeling the need to CHANGE myself. It is one thing to work on improving who you are and another thing altogether to strive only to completely change what makes you YOU.

Not to get too philosophical, but we are guaranteed only one thing, and thats a limited time on this planet- whether you go early like some unfortunate ones or you live past 100. Our time here will end. Which is why in my limited time, I will wear shorts (scars be damned), I will get darker in the sun (still gotta get that SPF tho’), I will let the world see every nap, curl or kink in my hair, cos thats who I am, and I don’t have the time, energy or emotional strength to pretend that I am someone else.

There’s more at the link!


The Third Wave Foundation just released its report on abortion access and economic justice in the United States, along with an infographic detailing what it really takes to get an abortion.

Since 1998, Third Wave has sought to prevent economic injustice from determining the reproductive outcomes of young people, particularly for young people of color and low-income young people. Third Wave Foundation believes that reproductive rights, including one’s right to choose to give birth or not, often comes down to a question of access, particularly for groups that are marginalized, underserved, and under-resourced.

You can download the report as a PDF.